Time to stop dicing with death on tracks
The dangers of level crossings are surely well known to people of all ages - so why are we still hearing about a number of worrying incidents?
Last week it emerged a group of youths were ‘playing chicken’ near one crossing, forcing a train driver to take emergency action by slamming on the brakes to avoid a near miss.
It so easily could have ended in death for the youngsters themselves, years of anguish and mourning for their families and a lifetime of horror for the poor driver who had every right not to expect to see a child messing about on the tracks.
Thankfully, that scenario was narrowly avoided on this occasion but it was a glaring reminder of what can happen when people act without thinking. And it’s not just pedestrians either - Network Rail is installing new red light enforcement cameras at ‘high risk’ level crossings to help prevent cases of drivers jumping the lights or swerving the barriers.
They claim the near-certain threat of prosecution will act as a further deterrent - but is risking the lives of themselves and others not already enough to put people off anyway? We’ve all done silly things as kids, no doubt, and we’ve all been left cursing delays to our journeys at level crossings before.
When the barriers come down quite some time before the train actually passes through, it can be frustrating.
But surely not enough to take such drastic, selfish, stupid action that puts so many people at risk.
Hopefully, bringing this issue back to the fore of public discussion will encourage people to think again and consider the drastic consequences of their actions.